At Acaia, we value our global network of trusted partners. Our partners are accomplished coffee professionals in both their local and international communities. In this series of interviews, we highlight our resellers and who they are.
This month, we spoke with Jeremy Hulsdunk, the Chief Commerical Officer at Australia’s Five Senses.
The company came to fruition in 1997 when one of the two owners turned their coffee hobby into a business. Five Senses has now developed into a global specialty coffee name. The brand now runs two roasteries and even more reputable barista training schools. They also maintain many wholesale connections with some of the best coffee companies across Australia. Five Senses will be present at this year’s Melbourne International Coffee Expo in several capacities. Read ahead to find out more about their place at the event and more about the company.
- Can you give us some background about Five Senses and your role in the company?
Five Senses is a specialty coffee roaster based out of Perth, Western Australia. We roast coffee in Perth and Melbourne. Dean and Stacey Gallager established Five Senses 22 years ago after living in Kundiawa in Papua New Guinea, who are still the owners. Dean was the principal of a school in the Simbu Provence and even before living in PNG, was already a coffee lover. It was here though that he forged relationships with the local coffee-producing community and formed the idea of Five Senses. When Dean and Stacey returned to Australia, they purchased a small roaster. They started roasting coffee from PNG before growing into the company that we are today! On top of our two roasting sites, we also have barista training facilities across Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney.
My role at Five Senses is the Chief Commercial Officer. I primarily look after Sales, Marketing, Customer Support, and Barista Training. I started with the company over 12 years ago as the Barista Training manager in Western Australia. After, I moved into Account Management and Sales, which is the position that I now hold.
- Many Australian cities like Melbourne are famous for their standard of specialty coffee and the popularity of the café scene. How have you seen the scene and community change over the last five years and where do you see it heading?
This is a really difficult question at the moment. Half of the last five years have been such a turbulent time, with COVID having a huge effect on the industry. Right now, and I suspect over the coming year or so, finding skilled staff and training enthusiastic staff will be a key focus of the industry. Our industry is suffering a little from a skills shortage and it may be some time before cafés are operating at the same service levels they were in 2019. This may have an effect on café owners wanting more automation behind the coffee bar. Both to improve efficiency and maintain quality to fill the gap that staff once occupied.
The specialty coffee community as a whole has always been working hard to educate consumers on our product and to get it into the hands of more people. Melbourne hosts a really enlightened coffee scene. When it comes to specialty coffee and consumers, we now have high expectations of the level of quality when visiting a café for coffee. In my opinion, the coffee quality in cafés will continue to grow as the expectations of the coffee consumer continues to grow.
In Australia, there is still a reasonable gap between the quality that a consumer will drink in a café to what they consume at home. And this is the next major frontier for specialty coffee to work itself into.
- We know that Five Senses will be taking part in the upcoming Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) with Co-Ground. What have you planned for it?
Co-Ground is a not-for-profit that we have been supporting for around 7 years now. They have several coffee carts around Melbourne for event hire. The money earned from the carts goes to initiatives in Vanuatu, as well as in Australia and the Philippines. We’re going to be supplying coffee beans as well as staffing the Co-Ground stand. You can find us pulling shots on the coffee carts that they have set up at MICE. Our filter coffee will also feature each day at station 3 of the WCC Brew Bar.
- What are the values behind Five Senses? How does it affect how the company operates?
Our company values are
They support our mission to "Impact People Positively.” Five Senses Coffee was established on the foundation of Dean’s relationship with the PNG community that he lived in, as well as his desire to have a positive impact on that community. "Impacting people positively" became the foundation of our business as we began to grow and establish global relationships with producers. Our value statements are extremely important for our company within the coffee industry, particularly given its competitive nature. The values and business vision provide us with clear lines of conduct for how we operate, as well as with the relationships that we have with our suppliers and customers.
- What has been your favorite coffee roasted by Five Senses and how was it prepared?
There have been so many! The coffee that I look out for every year is from a producer name Leonid Ramirez from Finca La Cortina de Hierro in Colombia. Both the natural and the washed are fantastic coffees and I usually brew them through the Kalita Wave. I love the washed through espresso as well; it’s well-balanced and has an amazing silky mouthfeel. While I do love being challenged with amazing character, sometimes a well-balanced washed Colombian coffee is all I need!
- Acaia and Five Senses have worked together for many years. How do you use Acaia on bar?
We exclusively use Acaia scales at our four training schools. We have a set of Pearl scales at each espresso station for weighing grounds and a set of Lunar scales for beverage weight. They are helpful in advanced classes to assess brew ratios without having to reprogram volumetrics. We also have a set of Pearls at each of the filter coffee stations to brew with. They’re perfect to use on a bar as they’re fast, accurate, and the right size. The fact that they’re rechargeable with a long battery life is also great. It keeps the benchtop clean and free from cables. When we’re pre-dosing many portions for events or shows, we use the Acaia Orion which saves a lot of time setting up!
- What other Five Senses projects are you excited about?
We have a few exciting projects coming together on the immediate horizon. We will be carbon neutral in the coming months and we are also working towards our B Corp certification later this year/early next year. We’ve been working on these projects (particularly the B Corp certification) for a number of years now. We're really excited to see them come together!